Increased internet access has dramatically changed the way people shop online every day. From purchasing a cooking appliance to going to the salon for a hair dye, rarely do people make a purchase before going through online reviews.
In fact, many people are deterred because of a negative review. This means that, whatever industry you’re a part of, it’s vital to maintain a positive online presence. An important part of doing this is to understand the importance of online reviews.
Online reviews can help your business optimize your customer experience and create a positive online footprint. Here are five reasons why online reviews are important:
Social proof drives purchases
Online reviews act as social proof which, in turn, encourages purchases. Consumers are more likely to buy a product or service Hence, you should encourage your customers to leave reviews after their purchases and even go as far as offering a discount in return for a review. Customer feedback has a huge impact on consumer decisions as it creates social proof that encourages other people to visit your store.
They make you look trustworthy
Online reviews enhance your brand’s credibility and can prove to be a powerful tool that drives customers to purchase from you. They boost your online identity and make it easier for potential customers to trust you.
Many customers are distrustful of businesses that have lower than 4-star ratings. While this definitely makes the competition tough, an excellent rating is likely to result in more sales and traffic for your brand.
They expand the conversation about you
Very bad or even good reviews can spread like wildfire. When people have a very positive experience with their brand, they’re more likely to share it on their social media profiles as well as external websites, such as TripAdvisor and Yelp. These platforms are crucial to your brand’s online presence since Google collects information from these websites to build its own results ranking.
In fact, having positive reviews also encourages other customers to leave their own positive experiences. While reviews on your website are definitely helpful, customers are more likely to trust them when they’re on other channels, too.
They make you more visible
It’s natural for shoppers to turn to search engines such as Bing and Google and social media platforms such as Facebook when they’re trying to determine what to buy and who to buy from. These platforms all have their own algorithms based on which they surface and index content.
However, what’s common is that these platforms value fresh and original content and online reviews definitely serve as content that boosts your brand’s presence. With a constant stream of online reviews, it works as content that boosts your website’s authority.
They give you an open line to consumers
Today’s consumers expect engagement from brands and online reviews provide you a way to do that. They give you the opportunity to reply to comments and reinforce positive reviews with promotions and thank you notes. Additionally, they also give you a chance to respond to a negative review and offer a chance to rectify a poor situation.
These reviews are immediate and personalized responses from your end also help build your brand’s identity. By showcasing that your brand’s open to feedback and is comfortable making improvements can significantly boost your brand.
Online reviews have the potential to sway purchase decisions. While your marketing efforts are important, having customers recall and relay your brands positively can drive a significant number of conversions and sales. The importance of online reviews can never be underestimated and your brand should encourage these as much as possible.